Way back in days of old, there was a legend told.
About a hero know as Galavant
Square jaw and perfect hair, Cojones out to there!
There was no hero quite like Galavant!
This bardic song ushered one of the most memorable tv shows I have ever watched. It’s one of the rare examples of british tv that I like! In fact I love this little show! Even if it got cancelled after two seasons and was subject to terrible critic reviews… maybe it’s the worst thing after all.
Blackadder the Musical
For those who have never seen this amazing show, it is a british musical comedy set in a medieval fantasy world. It’s not very high on fantasy elements though it’s all fairly tame with just some minor magic and a mythical creature sporadically spread throughout the series. We follow the fallen hero of Galavant who has lost his love Madeleina to the evil king Richard. Who usurped many other countries. Along with dethroned Princess Isabella and his trusty companion and squire Sid. Very early in the show we discover that Medalena isn’t exactly a damsel distress but a spoiled rotten power hungry wench who sleeps with just about everyone except for King Richard and Galavant.
A hilarious journey with plenty of twists and turns ensues. With enough betrayals to mimic game of thrones and enough dry humor to be Black Adder, the old classic Rowan Atkinson show we already got a different sort of beast. Yet that isn’t where it ends. The show is a musical epic, where each episode has one or two amazingingly humorous, well written songs that start very disney and as the show goes on become more and more broadway spoofs. A combination that i haven’t ever really seen nor would I think it would work out. For example take this song where the two villains and the two main heroes start growing closer together despite their differences.
A Sacrilegious Crusade.
As it should be with these kind of shows, nothing is safe from being the subject as jokes. The characters all share this fourth wall like awareness which enables to tell them how much their lives differ from all the tropes we have been spoonfed. This show lives to kick down your classic tropes. As much as they possibly can. Even pirates do not roam the see, no they are landpirates.. .who still sing about the sea. Character know their series switches epsiodes, they are aware they have low Nielsen ratings because of the singing, and they know that because they live in the middle ages there is a big chance their children will die from one of the many nasty diseases. So.. there is just a hint of deadpool sprinkled throughout the series mostly during the songs.
So with dead baby jokes, constant slut jokes, plenty of virgin jokes as well and jokes making fun of the token character and plenty of minorities this show isn’t exactly politically correct. Yet all the jokes are also innocent enough , it’s just that no one is spared. In a way that is part of it’s charm. I never felt insulted at least, even if they make plenty of gay joke and poor jokes never I felt wronged. The jokes again mostly focus on the tropes and hardly tackle reality. So if you are easily offended perhaps this might not be the best show for you but at least to me it was all fairly innocent. Galavant is very aware of that it is set in medieval times, troughout the entire show, which means characters will not care about being politically correct and this song from the second season makes that and my entire point about this paragraph very clear.
Actual actors singing
A cute touch of the show is that all the actors who star in this show are the ones singing and again the series has some fun with that. For example Luke Youngblood who plays Sid might not be the strongest singer of the group but that results into his lines being “cut” by weird jump cuts to other locations or characters taking over his lines and such. Meanwhile Joshua Sasse who plays the titular character is singing quite well and gets so many songs that sometimes Galavant himself doesn’t really know what to do with a song.. being unable to think of words fast enough because he has so many songs.. or him running out of breath. When Vinnie Jones character Gareth sings.. it sounds awful. Because it’s Vinnie Jones, no one would imagine he could sing and the show makes it very clear to us that he really can’t .
Gareth and the show are very aware of that though with him barely getting any songs and when he finally gets a song alongside madelana she talks about how different she is from him. She tells how she likes fancy meals and fancy wines on the rhythm of the music. Vinnie Jones lines are “I want meat and more meat” and Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer. Why waste rhymes on a non singer after all yet it all brilliantly works out. Characters are so aware of who they are they can get annoyed for being dragged into a song that doesn’t fit their style or notice when a line seems out of character.
The most briljant character in the show Timothy Omundson who plays king Richard. Who is very much like the king Richard in Robin Hood. Mostly the disney version. He has a small heart and actually wants to be loved, despite that he is evil. As the show goes on we see him grow into the main character more and more over Galavant.. which is great! The chosen hero trope gets shattered again by this show. One of my favorite jokes throughout the series is that Richard turns out to be a virgin, a quality which apparently attracts unicorns. Each time Richard is bragging about his sexual conquests a unicorn shows up to signal he is lying. Which obviously Richard will try to rationalise with that the unicorn must be mistaken or is not a real unicorn, only to be proven time and time again that it is legit. It’s that kind of humor throughout the show. It just tries to have fun with it characters and actors. The show knows it’s to out there to have any credibility so they just make sure both the actors and the people have a fun time. This is very well illustrated in the song “secret mission” where two enemies band together to stop an even bigger evil. Rules of the world phase in and out as it works for the comedy and thats exactly how this show should be.
This show is a show where anything can happen, it’s one of those kids who wants to colour outside the lines just to be different. Yet never does that colouring make it look ugly. You can still see where this story is going ,you can understand the characters because it’s so much about them. They sing about what they think and due to that we get a lot more insight in them as we would trough normal dialogue. We know what drives them and plagues them and it all just feels great. Galavant feels like a middle finger to the standardised writing that has come over most western media. I’d compare it to family guy but it has so much more pay off, their side stories bland together so well.
The narrator is a jester who lives in their world for example. Of course Madalena also sleeps with him and when Richard suspect that he thinks she likes Jester because he is funny, he wants a lesson in comedy from the man. While Richard is to evil to understand killing people is not funny, the Jester calls it comedy gold, not just to please his king but because to us the viewers it’s a very funny scene. Very similar to when Spongebob sang the FUN song with Plankton. Some side characters realise that they are the “red shirts” (A star trek trope for faceless people who always die during missions) of the show and they plan to kill the main characters to end the show.. just so they can have a happy end. Which becomes a returning joke for them or others like them. They often sing about their bliss in their missery. Yet nothing beats the character arc of Richard in the second season! Those final words he ushered, that final song the show goes out on, it knows so incredibly well what it is and what we want to hear as an audience that I count it among my favorite show endings off all times.That line at the end .. was just perfection… of course to see perfection you will have to watch the show! Until then here is a sexy song. That one is very spoiler friendly and one of my favorite songs from the show!